Are you a makeup junkie who can’t afford to spend a lot of money on cosmetics? You’re not lonely. Makeup is easy to spend a lot of money on. There isn’t just one colour of lipstick. There are hundreds. Even more when you think about matte vs. liquid lipstick vs. gloss. Extrapolate that over each and every beauty item, and it’s easy to see why you have so much makeup.
If you’re low on money, beauty items are often the first things that go, but they don’t have to be. The following are my top tips and tricks for saving money on makeup. Continue reading if you desire to learn how to spend less money on makeup but still look fabulous. This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you buy an item through these links, I may earn a commission at no additional expense to you. Please read the full policy for more information.
- Fix broken makeup instead of tossing it.
Instead of throwing your cracked and caked press powders and eye shadows, spray a bit of rubbing alcohol on top and use a brush to smooth it out. Once the alcohol has evaporated, your makeup will be crack-free and ready to use again.
- Find budget-friendly cosmetic brands
If you need to save money, the easy option is to find a less expensive makeup brand. You may not realise how many great, affordable makeup brands there are out now. If you’re looking for a cruelty-free makeup brand that adheres to harsh European standards, this is my favorite. I love searching for high-quality makeup at drugstore prices.
- Keep track of makeup expiration dates.
Yes, makeup expires! Some are quicker than others. If you have a lot of opened makeup that is getting old, you could be throwing away hundreds of dollars. Check to see when your makeup is finished and make it a point to use those items first. Going on a makeup spending freeze saves even more money if you have a lot of makeup that needs to be used up quickly.
- Use employee discounts.
Those who are obsessed with makeup can take advantage of the employee discount by getting a part-time job at their favorite store. Not many shops even allow friends to use their employee discount up to a certain amount per year.
- Ask for product samples.
Many department store makeup counters will permit you to select some samples to try later on. Also, if you’ve made a purchase, inquire if they have samples of other products you’re interested in. At certain shops, a makeup purchase online includes the option to select samples. If samples aren’t offered unprompted, it never hurts to ask, as long as you’re not only there for free samples.
- Always buy makeup on sale.
Find out when your favourite makeup brand has a big annual or semi-annual sale. Several large makeup companies have twice-yearly sales that their loyal customers look forward to. These sales are most common during the vacation season, but I’ve also seen them in the spring and summer. Once you know about upcoming sales, hold off on replenishing your stock until you can get it at a good price.
- Use quality makeup brushes.
You can have the most expensive foundation, but if you’re using low-quality brushes, it can still look streaky. A good-quality makeup applicator and brushes can give even coverage and a good finish for low-cost makeup.
- Do you want to get cash back on your purchases?
Every store you want to shop at will show the percentage cash back you’ll earn and whether you need to shop online or in-store to receive it. A few of the companies I currently have listed include Sphere, Ultra Beauty, and Clinique. I suggest signing up for both and testing which has the highest cash-back charge at the time of shopping. Rakuten is accessible via the web, app, and Chrome browser extension.
- Avoid impulse buys.
It’s so easy to impulse buy, mainly when the price is $10 or less. BUT, $10 here and there quickly adds up, so be aware if you have a habit of doing this. Sometimes impulse buying becomes more of a problem and becomes compulsive. One quick fix is to implement a 24-hour rule for items you didn’t specifically go to the shop for.
- Check out the store-brand versions.
Store-brand versions that perform as well as much more expensive name brands are frequently available. This is similar to how grocery store brands cost a lot less but are fundamentally the same as fancy brands. Shops like Sephora and Ultra Beauty sell high-end makeup but also their own brand of products. Since these stores are so popular, you can often find reviews of the store brand online to see for yourself.
- Use Coupons
Many pharmacy brands offer coupons in the weekly flyer. Inquire with nearby friends and family about saving coupons for you if they won’t be using them. One of my favourite ways is to get coupons through the mail using these five simple methods. By doing this, I get coupons from companies I usually don’t find coupons for otherwise.
- Ask for makeup gift cards or gifts of
Request gift cards to your favourite store or items from your makeup wish list from friends and family. It’s a simple birthday or Christmas present for them to grab for you, which takes the pressure off. Plus, you get something you’ll like and maybe wouldn’t have bought for yourself.
- Look for makeup dupes.
Dupes means duplicates in the makeup world. Many of the high-end favourites have products sold by less costly brands that are similar in every way except for the packaging. If you have a favourite product you can’t live without, check first to see if there’s a budget-friendly makeup dupe you can try out as an alternative.
- Watch reviews before you buy.
While you should avoid makeup haul videos, reading genuine and honest reviews about a makeup item is a good idea before purchasing. Just make sure that it isn’t a sponsored post or video that could have a small bias. Double-check for any disclaimers about sponsorship or ads prior to taking their word about an item.
- Use every last bit.
Often, the applicators and pumps that divide makeup leave a lot behind. Before recycling the containers, get every last drop out of the bottle. My favourite method to do this is by using this cheap beauty spatula. You’ll seriously get everything you want from your foundation or face cream bottle. It’s silicone, so it can be washed and reused.
- Mix colours instead of buying a new item.
If there’s a trending new colour or shade you desire to try, try to recreate the look with your present makeup. Can you blend two shades of eye shadow you already own instead of buying a new pot of color? The same goes for blush and bronzer. Multiple colours can be mixed to create an entirely different look.
- Find your signature look.
A signature look sounds a lot fancier than it actually is. Usually, you have a go-to eye makeup routine for general or daily makeup that you know how to do well. By narrowing down your number of looks, you can cut down on the amount of makeup you need. You may have 10 tubes of lipstick and 15 eye shadows, but it’s unlikely that you consistently use all of them.
- Purchase during the bonus period
A lot of makeup companies have loyal customers who know to stock up during special bonus times. Clinique and Estée Lauder are two companies that come to mind. The bonus deals become available if you buy over a certain amount of production in one deal. This is a good chance to ask for samples as well, since sales associates are more inclined to keep their customers happy and coming back for more.
- Finish what you have.
Build it into your mantra to not purchase any more makeup until you finish what you have. It’s incredibly simple to accumulate more and more makeup until it’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to get through it all. If this sounds familiar, opt instead to not purchase any more cosmetics until you finish what you have. As mentioned above, makeup does have an expiration date, so you don’t want to risk having to toss everything in the trash.
- Make use of a setting product.
You use a lot of makeup every time you reapply or touch up your makeup. To battle this, a setting product may be all you need. This can be a topcoat for nails, a spray or powder for the face, or a liner and gloss for lipstick. Setting products are typically less expensive than colour and pigmented products.